- Capitalism and Alternatives -

I canna' do it...

Posted by: Dr. Cruel on December 02, 1999 at 10:49:34:

In Reply to: Putting the hubris aside posted by Joel Jacobson on December 02, 1999 at 00:23:47:


First of all, everyone should get a hearing. If one is willing to listen to Marxists on general principle, one should be able to stomach a racial supremacist or two (black, white, or otherwise).

Secondly, social conditions in South Africa have noticably deteriorated. Crime has dramatically risen in the cities, and state-managed institutions have suffered under the increased influence of the ANC. Whether the cause is from some sort of "racial difference", the incompetance of neo-Marxists, or (most likely) the stumblings of people not used to wielding managerial authority, would seem to be the next issue to be determined.

In any case, the commitment to capitalist economic concepts is real, and demonstrable. Ever since the first tentative steps in that direction (the NEP of Bolshevism, Deng Jiao Ping's "Communism with a Chinese face, etc.), those that are actually in the business of running a communist autocracy sooner or later realize (as did their feudal cousins, the absolute monarchs) that some sort of commerce must be allowed. To his credit, Mr. Mandela has been very keen to capitalize on the rich resources and educated businessmen within South Africa to further the interests of that nation's citizenry. One must expect, however, that the slow rise in the living conditions of 3/4ths of the population might just lead to the precipitous fall in living conditions for those within the remaining 1/4th. It would be my contention that, fascist or no, Mr. Rundle is commenting on a real phenomenon, and furthermore that these series of events might accurately be described as the "townships coming to the cities", or something to that effect. Similar dislocations occured in the South of the 1960's, in the U.S. urban sprawls within that region, after the collapse of a near-feudalistic system (sharecropping) in the face of superior mechanized farming methods. America seems to have weathered the resulting peak in crime, and one supposes that South Africa will do so as well.

Furthermore, although I would love to blame the Marxists fro what is transpiring there, I cannot in good conscience do so. The Left certainly has taken full advantage of racial tensions in the area, but this "exploitation" has led to highly favorable results. True, there is an opportunistic element that dominates the educated African elite (one need look no further than Nigeria to see the resulting social system), but such a dynamic is characteristic of all emerging industrial nations. With the majority of people uneducated, patronage and nepotism inevitably become the mechanisms by which the poor gain what little access the elite deign they might enjoy. It requires an educated populance to make reasoned inquiries as to the business that their government is up to, and one cannot be expected to make a stand against government corruption if one must depend on judgement clouded by ignorance. Most Africans are ignorant, at least of those affairs of state that are common knowledge amongst Europeans (I will not insult them, however, by comparing them to the average American). This sort of ignorance makes people like Mr. Mobutu popular, in a similar fashion to, say, Mr. Milosevic in the rump state of Yugoslavia. A healthy local military contingent can subsequently easily deal with those who fall outside of this tendency.

I will not defend the ANC. They are as nepotistic and as corrupt as the Sandanistas ever were (the "soocer teams" of Mrs. Mandela are a perfect case in point). But Mr. Mandela is another matter entirely; for an ex-boxer who has spent the better part of his years in forced confinement, he has proven to be a surprisingly adept administrator. The South Africans are lucky to have him, as he has effectively mitigated what disruptive dislocation might have been reasonably expected in a state transitioning from apartheid.

Mr. Mandela is effectively merging the social consciousness of conventional liberalism with the pragmatic considerations of productivity commonly found in those deemed as "conservatives". A state to be watched, if one is interested in the nature of government in the future. If one also examines the nature of state administration in Singapore, and can pinpoint the common memes to both of these political entities, one might be able to deduce what one can expect to see in the coming decades.

"Doc" Cruel

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